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How to make a career change if you're an entrepreneur

By Emilly Parris

Working for yourself is an incredibly rewarding and much-respected endeavour—it allows you the freedom to pursue your passions without the limitations of a traditional corporate job. While many have an idealistic view of the entrepreneur lifestyle, it has its risks and challenges. If your circumstances change and your goals no longer align with what you set out to do, you might consider a career change to something a bit more stable.

Whether you want more financial security, reasonable working hours or you just need a break from the hustle, here are some ways you can approach making a career change as an entrepreneur.

1. Have a strategic plan of action.

Changing from one career to another is a big leap, so if you’re not quite ready to switch gears you might consider taking on a role that is similar to what you have experience with. Start-ups and small businesses could be an ideal working environment for someone with an entrepreneurial spirit. Being an employee of a start-up is different to being the founder or director—but you’re still in an environment where your ideas can soar and your enthusiasm is appreciated.

However, if the fast-paced and unpredictable environment of start-up culture no longer appeals to you, you’ll need to create a plan for where you want to be and what type of role will suit you. It’s okay to take a step back, re-assess your priorities at this time and start building up new skills that will serve you in your new job.

2. Re-work your resume.

woman editing resume

Making tweaks to your resume is important anytime you change jobs or make a move in your career. The skills you’ve learned over the course of being an entrepreneur are likely quite varied, spanning many different areas. Consider the types of roles you’ll be applying for and shape your resume to reflect the skills you’ll most likely need to succeed in those roles. This is why having a plan of action is vital—it will allow you to move in the direction you’ve carved for yourself.

Remember, your experience as an entrepreneur is highly valuable and can help you succeed in any number of roles. Ensure that you update your resume and convey not only your experience, but how your experiences can be implemented into the workplace.

3. Consider how your entrepreneurial skills will (or won’t) fit into your next role.

Even if you’re moving away from the demands of operating your own business, there are many traits that you may have that can help you settle into a new career. 

As an entrepreneur, you’re likely a passionate, innovative and creative individual. You’re also likely to be optimistic, driven and industrious. These are all qualities many employers look for so it’s important to highlight them when discussing your projects and past experiences. 

Perhaps one of the biggest challenges you might face during the hiring process is employers who are concerned that you may not be able to take direction well or be managed by others. Because entrepreneurs are seen as leaders, you may be at risk of being overlooked for roles that are lower on the corporate hierarchy. If the question comes up, this is something that you will have to acknowledge and address during the interview process.

4. Take an online course or attend a training seminar.

online learning concept

The best way to prepare yourself for a completely new role is to upskill and complete the required training. An online qualification can help fill any gaps in your knowledge and give you more confidence when applying for jobs. Upskilled’s online courses are structured so that you can cover all the basics and advance your knowledge quickly. Not only will you get a boost in confidence when you’ve completed your training, you’ll also be able to show your new employer a range of new skills and abilities that relate directly to the role.

5. Choose a role that aligns with your values.

There is no need to change yourself in order to find fulfilment after being a successful entrepreneur. If your values haven’t changed, you can still thrive in a role that celebrates your strengths.

Entrepreneurs tend to be creative thinkers with strong business acumen and the ability to ‘make things happen’. They can do incredibly well in roles where they can make a change and they enjoy the process of learning and developing themselves. Look for a company or organisation that will appreciate what you bring to the table.

Thinking of a career change?

Upskilled offers a range of flexible online courses in some of Australia’s top and growing industries. Whether you want to leave the entrepreneur life behind for good or just want a more stable and balanced work life, the right qualification can help you on the path to securing your ideal career. 
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*By providing your information, you agree to our Privacy Policy and to receiving email and other forms of communication from Upskilled. You are able to opt-out at any time.